In this age of emails and emojis, texts and gifs, memes and DMs, a trip to the mailbox can be a dispiriting
schlep. Often all that awaits is a mountain of unwanted junk. But imagine the jolt of delight, the spark of connection, the gasp when you make that trek one day and get an actual handwritten postcard.
What we know is that postcards date back to the mid-1800s, and they even enjoyed a so-called “Golden Age” at the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, their popularity has taken hits from various technological advances — the first with the rise of the telephone, the latest with the onslaught of online everything. However, postcards may very well be making a bit of a comeback, and for several good reasons.
Sending a postcard from your trip is much simpler and will probably be much more appreciated than trying to pick out a gift. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sizes, personal tastes or whether someone has just gone through an extreme Marie Kondo phase and purged their collections of shot glasses and snow globes.
The purchase of postcards, which don’t cost princely sums, helps support small businesses, local tourist attractions, state and national parks, you name it. And, buying stamps supports postal services. (Note: Though you can use a first-class stamp, there are designated postcard stamps that are cheaper — $0.44.)
I’ve always enjoyed sending postcards, but my interest took a decided upswing after getting a 20-foot travel trailer. The deal was that it wouldn’t just sit in the driveway, and it hasn’t. As a result, friends and family have gotten a kick out of living vicariously through my travels … or so I’m told.
In any case, I’m going to keep at it. When it comes to postcards, it’s as much fun to send as to receive. There’s a certain delight in finding just the right image, including some very funny or silly ones that are perfect for that certain person. And, maybe you know a senior who doesn’t get out much anymore, or someone who can’t travel right now? Sending a postcard can be an easy way to brighten their day.
And, in full disclosure … I often pick out a card to send home. It’s a great souvenir of my trip, and isn’t something that will just collect dust and/or end up as a thrift store donation. Also, usually by the time I’ve gotten home and head for the mailbox, I’ve forgotten that I sent it, which makes it a fun surprise!
So next time you’re travelling, arm yourself with some postcard stamps, find those fun cards and unpack a new meaning of the phrase, “You’ve got mail!”